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Been saving my pennies...


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...and looking to get my first scope. Been into photography for a while (eos d10, d50), and would like to expand into astro, definitely planetary and pref. dso if my budget (or a simple upgrade path) will permit.

So, two of the scopes I have been looking at from FLO are;

Skywatcher Explorer 200P EQ5 GOTO

and;

Celestron C8-N GT (GOTO)

OR, and will have to hava a chat with FLO about price matching as this seems to be 'on offer' at a few places...

Celestron Advanced C10 NGT

The latter being right at the top end of my budget.

So, over to the experts... pros, cons, am I completely barking mad? heading the right way? what other equipment will I need to get started? as I upgrade (if appropriate)? Something else I should be looking at?

Edited by Dons255
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The Skywatcher 200 and the Celestron C8 NGT are basically the same telescope, although the specification for the focuser may be different. The CG5 mount has 2" diameter legs and the EQ5 1.75" so the CG5 should be a bit more stable. The C10, however, might be a bit too much telescope for the CG5 to take. You might also want to look at the Skywatcher Syntrek 200P, this has a better mount than either the EQ5 or CG5 and can be converted to full goto by replacing the Syntrek handset with a Synscan one or controlled via a laptop and a planetarium program such as Stellarium or Carte du Ciel and an EQDIR module.

If your main interest is planetary imaging you should look for a webcam such as a Philips Touicam Pro or a Celestron Neximage for a start then progress to an Imaging Source D*K 21 or similar. Planetary imaging with a camera such as one of those is alot easier than using a single shot DSLR, you can take a video clip of 1000 frames or more in less than a minute, in the case of the Imaging Source cameras, and stack the best ones in Registax or Avistack to achieve a better result than a single image. The sensor size used in webcams and the Imaging Source cameras is also more suited to this type of photography.

I am sorry I can't help you with your mental problems.

Peter

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The cost of a planetary camera such as a webcam is quite low - say £65-70. You already have DSLR camera so that is taken care of.

The most important thing in astrophotography has to be the mount upon which everything sits. So get the best mount you can afford now, and then add scopes etc at a later date. Something like an EQ6 or an HEQ5. The scope is personal choice, but you'll have other things to buy like barlow lens, adapters, leads, etc, which soon add up.

I bought the EQ6 and have chopped and changed my telescopes on top. You can even just use your DSLR on the mount with a lens.

If your budget is £900, then get a second hand EQ6, and choose a scope to go on top with the left over money.

HTH

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Thank you gents (and FLO, who lived up to their forum reputation);

- have scratched the 10" celestron from the list

- will certainly keep an eye out for a secondhand eq6 (anyone got one? how much should I be paying?)...

- syntrek + laptop + stellarium will work from home... can always add goto later to be more mobile... or get a small generator :o

- the 50's got live-view and will record video @ around 60fps, connected direct to the pc/laptop (so I *think* that'll probably suffice - at least it's not too expensive to replace if it doesn't :))

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So, that's the SW 200P on an HEQ5 syntrek coming on friday (plus cabling to hook up to lappy/pc)... should work nicely from the garden and can look to expand collection as finances allow.

Better start thinking about clearing the shed out (and removing the roof :o).

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So, that's the SW 200P on an HEQ5 syntrek coming on friday (plus cabling to hook up to lappy/pc)... should work nicely from the garden and can look to expand collection as finances allow.

Better start thinking about clearing the shed out (and removing the roof :o).

Dont forget about rehousing the spiders.

Nice choice of scope.

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Don't mention spiders! Should of seen the size of the beasty crawling on the ceiling over my bed last night... it was <--------------------------------------------> rather large :o

(was too tired to throw it out tho).

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Don't mention spiders! Should of seen the size of the beasty crawling on the ceiling over my bed last night... it was <--------------------------------------------> rather large :o

(was too tired to throw it out tho).

In hate them that much that i would have slept on the couch.

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hi,

just my 2 penneth'; the best value way of planetary imaging is with a webcam and DSOs with a DSLR (Canon 300d and up). I would reduce the size of the scope otherwise it gets more difficult and places high demands on the mount. For DSOs focal ratio determines the brightness, so something around f5 is good. Focal length determines the image scale or field of view. ie. a 300mm f5 newt will be no brighter than a 150mm f5 newt, but it will be half the field of view, much heavier and will make tracking significantly more difficult. A 150mm f5 newt is light, short focal length hence wide FOV, compact, easy to mount and leaves more money for the mount. It would go well on a CG5 or even better a HEQ5. It will also allow for fairly high "magnification" with a barlow and webcam for planetary stuff. Don't forget to factor in all the adapters, filters, flatteners, brackets and eventually autoguiding gubbins too.

hope that helps

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